DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Can 'Pay for Play' Access Be Eliminated in Washington?
John Layfield: Different term lengths for Congress, term lengths, election process and greater transparency. The problem here is massive. As of June, 12,553 lobbyists were registered in Washington, D.C. When you add in the staff with those it's an estimated 90,000 people are associated with those lobbyists, 167 people per Congress member and it's about $5 million because $2.6 billion is spent on congress lobbying. All for special interests. You can stop this, but you need an overhaul of the system. Look, there's not much doubt that she did, but everybody is doing it.
Cathy Taylor: I served in the White House and I can tell you that the rules on the government side of this are crystal clear. Getting money from a lobbyist does not mean you engage in pay to play. Make that distinction. The problem is that the Clinton Foundation is a Ponzi scheme, on the foundation side where the laws are murky and Clintons know that and taking advantage of it. You didn't have these issues come up during the Reagan and Burk administrations.
Nomi Konst: Right. I mean, again, no surprise. Both sides do this. The Clintons are the masters, the masters back to 1991, when Bill Clinton decided to take a million dollars from a Singaporean billionaire and that basically set the stage for his genius ability to maneuver the billionaire's world. And they know how to use power and use power in other people's favor, to their favor. That's something they've done from the local level at local municipalities and democratic officials all wait to the international level whether it was Sidney Blumenthal walking around Libya, which you need more clearance than God to get into Libya and he's looking for business. This is a problem on both sides but the Clintons really know how.
Gary B. Smith: I don't think there's anything to do about it. I like John's suggestions, but unfortunately, you have the fox guarding the hen house here. Only one that's going to change the rules on term limits are the -- are congress and they're not going to do that. Why? Because when you're a politician, you're not in it for the money. I think maybe, you know, after you get out, oh, the Clintons' income when they left $10 million, they've gone a long way from being poor. But while you're a politician what you love most is power and the only way to get that power and keep that power is to keep being re-elected and the only way to keep being re-elected is to service these private interest groups. The big money. You don't think that Donald Trump has serviced private interest in the real estate game. We all say it's like politics. You have to grease one hand, pat the other guy on the back, take money, get things done. I'm sure he's going to do that once he gets elected. That makes sense because Donald Trump wants to stay in power just like Hillary Clinton wants to stay in power. You can't change the rules. We just have to live with it. If there's a way to change, I'm open to it. I think its human nature we're trying to battle in the case.
Jonas Max Ferris: Hillary is high on the list because people are smartly betting on her to be the most likely to have power in the future. Why the Clintons raise money. A circular thing. To blame them from taking money, they get offered more money than most people have no chance of being president. You have to organize that. This goes so much beyond how long you're in office or term limits or the bottom line is any billionaire in the world can get any politician on the phone at any time unless they're blatantly being indicted for something because whether you're giving them cash or whatever the fact that they could help you out of office, even if only in office two years, your kids get jobs at their companies and work for them as a consultant, you can't remove that effect that there's super wealthy people. That's going more and more decades -- you can't end. Certain politicians who don't live off of it as much as Hillary, for example, Bernie Sanders, but they're not successful and don't get a lot of policy done because they're not playing the games and they haven't achieved a whole like, like a Clinton would because they're not working with possibly somewhat impressionable influences.
Wall Street, Main Street Sending Mixed Signals on Economy
Jonas Max Ferris: Main Street has been pretty negative since '09. Economy across people who have money since then waiting for the bottom to drop out and you know, the bottom line is, is not the greatest economy in the world but the stock market continues to do well, has done well for many years, and it's because largely because rates are low, but also because wealth globally grows and not main street wealth, it's the upper -- that money has to go somewhere. To quote a line in a movie, how many yacht cans you own. You have to buy stocks no matter what because rates are low and that's where the money is going to go. It's not everybody's economy so you don't feel comfortable about it.
Gary B. Smith: By the way, Dagen, that's where all the retail sales are going. Yeah. The old-line retailers like Macy's and, you know, those, they're struggling, but because we're all shopping at amazon these days. But I think that Wall Street has it right in terms of the stock market and the reason is, this might be the only time you're going to ever hear me say this, is that the Obama economy, as horrible as it is, and has been good for the stock market. You know, under the Obama thinking or whatever, planning, the stock market is up, inflation adjusted, 100 percent. That's better than it was under Reagan. That's almost Bill Clinton levels, better than both the bushes, better than Jimmy Carter. That's pretty significant there. I don't argue when the market is making new highs. It's telling us something, maybe Jonas has said we have no other place to put the money and low interest rates, but right now if we had eight more years of Hillary, god bless, probably should be good for the market.
John Layfield: I was shocked when Gary B. said eight more years of Hillary. Something I never thought I would hear come out of Gary B. going to the stock market that makes a lot of sense. It's a bifurcated story and both sides are right. Main Street has apprehension about the slow growth but Wall Street is spot on just as Gary B. says. The reason is comparison. Look, 80 percent of government issued debt out of Japan and Germany are for negative interest rate. 60 percent-plus of S&P stocks are yielding higher than our own 10-year treasury. We are a bargain for money. Any problems in Europe and Asia, money flows into U.S. equities and that's what we're seeing.
Cathy Taylor: Jonas is right institutional money has bailed us out time and time again but what happened after the Clinton, it was economic disaster. We're still recovering from Bill Clinton's economy. And there's not a lot to be excited about. The thing is that Main Street and Wall Street, there's an intersection and when one isn't doing well the other will not do well. Whoever becomes president inherits an expensive ObamaCare disaster and outdated uncompetitive tax code, a lack of infrastructure and jobs and infrastructure, and a global economy that, you know, between possible contagions in Venezuela, huge pressures in Europe from decades of poor growth policies and loss of pressure from the refugee crisis there's not lots to be excited about. In Washington we like to say never make summer vacation plans in august.
Nomi Konst: So I know that we're still suffering from Bill Clinton's economy. I thought we were still suffering from George W. Bush's economy and income inequality. I think the political landscape shifting and political internal landscape shifting so that people like me as a progressive as a populist I fear an economy under Hillary Clinton in a lot of ways. She came out and said she was going to invest money into infrastructure, something that Donald Trump has not said. He has not got into details. Now does that mean that's going to be good for Main Street? I hope. That's what we need. That's why when Barack Obama put in Tim Geithner, which shows a lot.
Report: DEA Regularly Monitors Americans' Travel Plans, Seizes Cash
Gary B. Smith: Not only do they take the money and they don't charge in most cases the drug whatever they are mules or whatever, with criminal offense. This is a way to fund police departments, law enforcement, sometimes makes up 20 percent of their budget when you use the information to fight terrorists I'm fine. Use it to gather money for no criminal reason I don't like it.
Cathy Taylor: I don't think profiling is a dirty word per se. Businesses do it to serve you better. Doctors do it to assess you. Gary is right. We have to uphold innocent until proven guilty in the country. The foundation of who we are. If someone is guilty take the money but charge them as well.
Jonas Max Ferris: They're innocent they don't have to give the money to the government. They're crooks and know it. They are getting off scot free. I don't like this on a local level. Stories where they take cars and money from people seize it because they think they're drug dealers. This is interesting on a federal level because it lower taxpayer's costs and putting people in prison what does that serve? This reduces the incentive to do a crime and yet maintains their ability to go legit and realize that was a dumb career path. I think it can work.
Nomi Konst: Thumbs up because as long as companies are doing this getting away with it as Cathy said, I would rather have the government searching and seizing money, like they got $509 million in 15 airports, $209, 5200 people and those people are informants. If this reduces which I do think drugs is a form of terrorism and keep that in mind we would not have the drug dealers in our country if we did not have terrorists in Afghanistan fueling it.
John Layfield: The problem like Gary B. says the incentive could be a problem because they consider this money in the budget before they find the money. So that incentive can be a slippery slope. However if you want to stop crime, you stop the money flow and that respect I am -- I have no problem with this.
Gary B. Smith: (DAL) Gains 20 percent in a year
John Layfield: (VOD) up 20 percent in 1 year
Jonas Max Ferris: (EWZS) returns 20 percent in 1 year